Benthic communities of the Terra Nova Bay area (Ross Sea) close to the Italian station Mario Zucchelli is located, have been largely investigated in the last couple of decades. All the acquired knowledge supports the presence of very rich and diversified communities. This has led to the establishment of an ASPA (N° 161).
The Antarctic scallop, Adamussium colbecki (Smith, 1902), is one of the most abundant and conspicuous species in the area, although some of its denser populations are found outside the boundaries of the ASPA.
These populations have been widely investigated and still are, under different perspectives. Particularly interesting is the evidence that populations in Terra Nova Bay area seem to be genetically different to some extent, and are even more different from those in the McMurdo Sound area, notwithstanding the planktotrophic behavior of the larva and the purported long pelagic life stage. These finding reinforce the concept that this scallop, locally very abundant but discontinuously distributed, must be included in the VME taxa list and support the need to consider the scattered populations as VMEs, being potentially genetically isolated from each other.